When you have Roy Halladay, Jair Jurrjens, Cliff Lee, Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw all on the same pitching staff, you really can’t go wrong, but NL skipper Bruce Bochy just finally announced his starter for Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Roy Halladay will get the nod for the National League. He’ll square off against Angels right-hander Jered Weaver, who was announced as the starter for the American League squad yesterday.
Hard to quibble with these choices. While we’ve seen a number of quality starting pitchers ruled ineligible for the game, these two have arguably had the best seasons in their respective leagues.
Halladay is 11-3 with a 2.45 ERA over 19 starts this season. He ranks second in the National League with 138 strikeouts over 143 1/3 innings and first with six complete games.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.